fermented foods

sauerkraut

I made some sauerkraut last week after a bit of a hiatus; my last few batches didn’t turn out so well and I was a bit discouraged by the lack of yummy eats after the days of fermentation. This batch turned out ok, although next time I think I’ll let it ferment a bit longer so it has a stronger flavour.

It’s super easy. Do you want to make some? Here’s what I did:

1. Find a medium-sized cabbage, some sea salt, caraway seeds, a big bowl, potato masher, big spoon, wide-mouth mason jars, a drip-catching pan that fits the jars, and a food processor with shredding attachment.

2. Take any yucky leaves off the cabbage. Take some nice ones off too, and save them for later.

3. Shred the cabbage with the food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, that’s really too bad because it makes this part a whole lot easier.

4. Put the cabbage in a big bowl and mix in 2 tablespoons or more of sea salt. And caraway seeds, if you like them in kraut. They’re optional.

5. Let it sit for awhile. Clean the food processor, check your email, like my facebook page….

6. Next, stomp it with the potato masher for a bit, until it’s really juicy. If you pile it all in the middle of the bowl and then press down with the masher, juice should ooze around the masher. Then you’re done mashing. Might take 8-10 minutes.

7. Get your big spoon and scoop it into the wide-mouth mason jars bit by bit, pressing down between every 1-2 scoops. Make sure it’s really pressed in there. Leave 2 inches from the tops of the jars.

8. Find those nice cabbage leaves you saved for later, and trim them so they’re a bit bigger than the size of the jar. Use them to cover the top of the sauerkraut, and sort of push down on them until the juice starts oozing around them.

9. Put the lids on, but don’t screw them down tight. They should be loose enough to allow leakage, if needed.

10. Put the jars in the pan designated to catch drips.

11. Leave them for 3 days. You’ll see the juice level rise in the jars as the lacto-bacteria ferment on the cabbage.

12. Taste and see if it’s strong enough for you – if not cover it back up and let it sit for a bit longer.

13. When you like the flavour, put it in the fridge and close the lid tightly. You want to prevent evaporation of the liquid at this point, and the ferment doesn’t need to have overflow capacity anymore.

14. Leave a comment for me and let me know how it went!

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Note: if something goes wrong, you will know. Sauerkraut should smell sour, not rotten. If it smells off to you, don’t eat it. If you’re not sure, ask someone who loves sauerkraut to smell it and taste it for you.

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